A Long Island, N.Y., man is safe and sound after falling into an 8-foot sinkhole that opened up in his front yard on Sunday, Oct. 30. Michael Ciron, 80, was retrieving his morning newspaper when the ground opened beneath him. His screams woke his daughter who called authorities and Ciron was rescued -- sore but still holding his newspaper.
Ciron speculated to authorities that the sinkhole occurred because of excessive snow and rain in the area over the last few months and that the location of the sinkhole may have been the site of an old well.
Sinkholes are depressions in the ground that can occur after heavy rains soften the ground, causing voids in the Earth to collapse. Sinkholes have made headlines in recent months, especially after heavy rains and floodwaters inundate regions, weakening the soil.
Arizona Park Walkway Closed Due to Sinkholes
A portion of pathways in Arizona's Parque de Santa Cruz walkway were reported as closed off on Nov. 1 due to sinkholes. According to reports, three major sinkholes -- one measuring 10 feet in depth -- opened up along paths in the park. Authorities are still investigating the cause of the holes.
Sinkhole Keeps New Jersey Road Closed
A road in Green, New Jersey that has been flooded and closed since Hurricane Irene hit in August continues to be a headache thanks to a sinkhole that is believed to have opened up under the road.
According to local authorities, a sinkhole may be the culprit in the continued flooding of the road. It is believed that initial flooding from Irene and then Tropical Storm Lee eroded the ground underneath the road, causing a sinkhole to open and fill with groundwater. This has resulted in the road continuing to be underwater and now, authorities can only wait to see what happens when or if the water recedes.
Sinkholes Reveal Forgotten Things
In Peru, Ill., two sinkholes revealed something most had forgotten: Old tunnels underneath the town. The sinkholes occurred when portions of an arched stone tunnel collapsed. The tunnel had been used as wastewater tunnels by the Star Union brewery.
Sinkholes in Guatemala
Guatemala seems to be a country that is prime for sinkholes. In July, a 40-foot sinkhole opened up underneath a woman's bed and of course, who could forget the Great Mother of All Guatemalan Sinkholes -- a 30-story deep sinkhole that opened up in 2010 in Guatemala City and swallowed a three-story building. This sinkhole was about 60 feet wide and opened up after floodwaters from Tropical Storm Agatha ravaged the region and weakened the soil, causing the sinkhole (which had been weeks or possibly years in the making) to finally collapse.
Finally, Texas does it big when it comes to sinkholes. A 2008 sinkhole that opened up one day in Daisetta, Texas, swallowed up power poles, vehicles and even oil-drilling equipment. The hole grew to a massive size of 600 feet across but authorities were uncertain exactly what caused that particular sinkhole.
- Michael Ciron